President Obama and the Danger of Overreaching

By Robert Wallace
America’s Right

Back before the election, I summed up my view of Barack Obama’s campaign by calling it “The Biggest Con Job in American History.” The reasons for this are simple: 60 percent of Americans view themselves as conservatives and only 36 percent self-identify as liberal. If you do the math, this means that for Obama to win the election with 53% of the vote, more than one in five conservatives who voted cast their ballot for Obama.

Why would conservatives vote for Obama? Perhaps a sense of history outweighed politics. Perhaps they simply didn’t realize how astoundingly liberal Barack Obama’s record was. Most likely it was both. A pre-election Rasmussen poll found that 27 percent of Americans viewed Obama as “a political moderate.” Considering that, now you know why over 20 percent of American conservatives voted for Obama: the benefit was being part of something historical and the cost was mitigated by the mistaken belief that he was a centrist.

The problem with this scheme has always been what to do after the election. In an ordinary con, once you get the goods you skedaddle, but Obama has to stick around for 4 years and actually govern. Not just with rhetoric, but with actions: signing or vetoing bills, issuing executive statements, and so on and so forth. And he wants to get re-elected. And the powerful folks who have invested their time, money, and careers in him want him to get re-elected, too. This presents a dilemma for Obama — stick with his radical roots, or make his conversion to the mainstream genuine.

John Meacham, writing for Newsweek back in October of 2008, saw this problem clearly when he gave his article “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Blue” the subtitle: “America remains a center-right nation—a fact that a President Obama would forget at his peril.” He wrote:

But history, as John Adams once said of facts, is a stubborn thing, and it tells us that Democratic presidents from FDR to JFK to LBJ to Carter to Clinton usually wind up moving farther right than they thought they ever would, or they pay for their continued liberalism at the polls. Should Obama win, he will have to govern a nation that is more instinctively conservative than it is liberal—a perennial reality that past Democratic presidents have ignored at their peril.

Like many Americans, I decided to make the most of the election results. I figured that Obama would take Meacham’s advice (many others said similar things), and that perhaps even if his record was liberal he would turn over a new leaf in the White House. This kind of optimism, combined with the very genuine historical significance of his inauguration, pushed his poll numbers to great heights. Immediately following the inauguration, in fact, they were up above 80 percent. They rapidly began to decline, however, and while you’d still hear about his healthy polls (in the low to mid 60s last time I checked) the decline wasn’t often mentioned. Likewise, skyrocketing negative numbers were often omitted. And the poll numbers were seldom put in historical perspective where (at this point in the presidency) Obama’s numbers are dead average.

For a president to go from national symbol of unity to merely average in such a short amount of time means that something changed. What was it?

Obama started actually governing, that’s what.

First, there was the long string of Obama appointees with tax troubles. As public attention turned to these questionable appointments, several had to jump ship. What’s worse, even journalists took note of the fact that Obama–for all this rhetoric about cleaning up Washington–was appointing primarily the exact lobbyists he promised to avoid.

Then, there was the amateur hour embarrassment of Gordon Brown’s reception at the White House. No formal press conference and disastrously mismatched gifts induced cringes here in America and indignation in the UK. The Hillary Clinton “Russian reset button” snafu occurred at roughly the same time, and hardly helped matters.

His executive orders on social issues have similarly gone over like lead balloons. One of his first acts was to overturn Bush restrictions on federal funding for abortions overseas. As a Gallup poll noted, this proved to be a spectacularly unpopular move, garnering support from just 35% of Americans. More recently, he rolled out his executive order on embryonic stem cell research at a conference which noted American columnist–and embryonic stem cell research supporter–Charles Krauthammer not only refused to attend, but then subsequently panned in a devastating critique. So far he’s managed to largely keep out of the press the accompanying executive order which undercut federal funding for embryonic stem cell research alternatives that are more immediately promising and less ethically controversial.

Then, there are the embarrassing reversals of campaign rhetoric. During the debates, Obama slammed Arizona Sen. John McCain for a healthcare plan that would remove the tax-exempt status of employee health care premiums. Now Obama’s administration has quietly begun raising this exact option themselves, prompting NPR to interview a smug McCain about the story.

More than any of these things, however, it was Obama’s failure to address the economic crisis that most alienated him from everyday Americans. Obama’s promise-the-world attitude was successful during the campaign, but Americans are increasingly wondering why he has this obsession with healthcare, energy, and education while the treasury department is still running on a skeleton crew. Blaming everything on George W. Bush got old quickly, especially when populist fiascos like the AIG bonuses occurred entirely under Obama’s watch from start to finish.

His aloof manner of speaking, over-reliance on TelePrompTers, and increasingly sharp tone when responding to those rare probing questions from journalists all contribute to the general feeling that Obama has his own agenda. His reckless spending–which the Congressional Budget Office has projected to run nearly $1 trillion deficits each year for the next decade–has spooked even moderates and given old-school fiscal conservatives sudden relevance and credibility. More importantly, they highlight the fact that whatever Obama is up to, it’s not merely fixing the economy. As Rahm Emanual and Hillary Clinton have been fond of saying recently: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

All of these factors have led to a steady decline in Obama’s popularity, a bleeding out which his increasingly boring press conferences are showing a decreasing ability to rectify. The celebrity is starting to wear thin, and Americans (finally) are starting to ask questions.

And, just as Americans and the media (shockingly) have started to ask questions, it looks like Obama is intent on answering them. And because of this I believe his popularity trend is about to turn a corner. And not in a good way. We’re talking about a shift in decline from “steady” to “precipitous,” from feather to lead balloon.

It’s stories like this one from the Washington Examiner which may prove to be the last straw for a conservative America:

It was nearly two weeks ago that the House of Representatives, acting in a near-frenzy after the disclosure of bonuses paid to executives of AIG, passed a bill that would impose a 90 percent retroactive tax on those bonuses. Despite the overwhelming 328-93 vote, support for the measure began to collapse almost immediately. Within days, the Obama White House backed away from it, as did the Senate Democratic leadership. The bill stalled, and the populist storm that spawned it seemed to pass.

But now, in a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the “Pay for Performance Act of 2009,” would impose government controls on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.

As WhoRunsGov.com summarizes, when New York Times reporter Peter Baker asked President Obama, point blank, “Are you a socialist?” Obama’s response was largely to dismiss the question. He later called the paper back, explaining that he had trouble believing the question had been “entirely serious.” Sometimes people laugh off a question because it’s just so silly, but the other reason for dismissing a query with a chuckle is if you’ve got no real answer. Or, at least, no answer you want to give.

The fact is that with every additional day in office President Obama looks more and more like what he truly is, an extremely left-leaning ideologue, and less and less like the pragmatic centrist the American people thought they elected. And–because of previous administration blunders and the overall economic downturn–Americans are in a very skeptical mood these days. They’re going to be asking more and more questions, and they are not going to like the answers they find.

Obama appeared so unstoppable and politically deft that his political bumbling and incompetence since taking office have me wonder if there really has been some kind of Parent Trap identical twins shenanigans, or if the persona of Obama as unifying, post-partisan centrist was never more than a journalistic pipe-dream to begin with. Maybe the oratory was truly TelePrompTed. Maybe he never was the great politician he seemed to be. Or maybe–as many have begun to wonder–it is hubris that is leading him to disregard reality.

In either case, his disturbingly reckless and increasingly feckless attempt to radically reshape America is increasingly going to put him at odds with his own disenchanted electorate. It’s time for Obama to either pull back, or risk going so far that he earns a significant and damaging backlash.

—————
Robert Wallace has been writing for America’s Right since December 2008.

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Comments

  1. J. Wolsey Riggs says:

    Tremendous piece, Robert. While I think the premise might be born of hope more than fact, at least your argument is cogent, and backed with reliable sources. I’ll look forward to reading more of your work – both here, and at your blog.

  2. HEY NIXON MAKE SOME ROOM FOR BARACK says:

    It is “TIME” for that magazine to knock off the worship. I myself am going to thoroughly enjoy watching this farce of a presidency crash and burn.

  3. CAL says:

    Robert,
    Thank you for that piece. It gives me some hope that people really are starting to see through this man. During the election, unless people took the time to research Obama on their own through the internet, they were not going to find out how truly radical he is. The media was not going to tell them. Most people do not have the time or the desire to do this after a long day of work. Without the willing accomplices in the media, Obama would never have been elected. It is unbelievable the stories the media failed reporting due to their political bias – especially given that newspapers are not doing well and ratings are dropping on TV. Obama’s associations and his questionable eligibility to serve all would have made fascinating reporting. Another reason for Obama’s win is that Americans are a very trusting people. I think we like to think the best in people and do not suspect that there are people as radical as Obama. We have had a very stable and durable political system and we do not suspect people to rock the boat too much. It must be a real wake up call for a lot of folks. Here’s hoping they stay awake so we can make some headway during the next election.

  4. whats_up says:

    Since every poll that I have seen still shows that the majority of Americans approve of Obama the point of this story is what exactly? I love the line about how he has lost touch with everyday Americans, I would argue that it is the Repubs who have lost touch, look at their alternative budget that they announced today for the 2nd time.

  5. Janet Edwards says:

    Extremely well-written, thought-provoking article. Thanks for sharing except now I feel really sad for our country and for us all. It gives me no pleasure to be able to say, “I told you so.”

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well said, Mr. Wallace! One thing you didn’t touch on much is Obama’s foreign policy challenges and how the way he handles them (both the expected and the unexpected) will further affect his popularity and ability to pursue his agenda. I suspect your overall conclusions here are applicable on that point, as well.

    JV

    verification word: reaboxa, as in “Reality will put him back in his box.”

  7. toto says:

    It would appear to me, that a lot of the people that deemed O able to walk on water, have have figured out he will sink. I am a memeber of an outdoors website that has a political forum, and its interesting to see just how quiet some of the O backers have become. We did have one actually come out and apologise for voting for this guy. I don’t think this person is unique any longer. If the people can’t see socialism coming, they are more blind than I thought.

    You need to watch the Obama Deception on youtube to get a real dose of reality.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Like many Americans, I decided to make the most of the election results.” These are not the words conservatives should be speaking. There is a mountain of evidence that BO is a Usurper, and his arrogance in whistling through this graveyard is only enabled by those who will not use every means available to force his to answer the questions about his citizenship. I personally invite liberals scorn about my asking. It shows they do not care about the Constitution and our democratic republic. Don’t simply sit this out! Press the issue!

  9. Mary Ann says:

    Robert, this is a GRRRReat story! You did a fantastic job, and I appreciated the Washington Times link. I was able to go over there and tell all those ninnys that they were crazy. I’m sure it will stir ‘em all up and I’ll get hazed, but it sure was fun. :D

  10. Michael Kreyssig says:

    great stuff!!

  11. Gail B says:

    Oh! Robert wrote that! (The Numbers King!) Great piece, Robert. Thanks.

  12. DROOPY EYED STATESMAN says:

    Good God, people, did you see Obama at the presser with Gordon Browne? Obama looked TERRIBLE, like we all are getting to him. That little man is in soooooo way over his Kenyan head.

  13. A REAL AMERICAN says:

    You’re a 19 year old kid. You’re critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley , 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, Vietnam.

    Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 – 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.

    You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you’re not getting out. Your family is half-way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you’ll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in
    and out, you know this is the day.

    Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn’t seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.

    Ed Freeman is coming for you. He’s not Medi-Vac, so it’s not his job, but he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.

    He’s coming anyway.

    And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board. Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.

    And, he kept coming back…. 13 more times….. And took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.

    Medal of Honor Recipient, Ed Freeman,died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise, ID ……May God rest his soul…..

    NOW THAT IS A COVER FOR TIME MAGAZINE, NOT THIS EMPTY SHELL OF A MAN OBAMA.

  14. Rix says:

    > The reasons for this are simple: 60 percent of Americans view
    > themselves as conservatives and only 36 percent self-identify as
    > liberal. If you do the math, this means that for Obama to win the
    > election with 53% of the vote, more than one in five conservatives
    > who voted cast their ballot for Obama.

    I have to add a correction on your math. It was not required for any conservative to vote for Obama for him to win. Rather, they just stayed home in droves, thoroughly unimpressed by McCain's lackluster campaign. Also, one shouldn't disregard massive election fraud, voting of illegals in ultrablue states like CA and NY, and possible ballot manipulation.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great commentary. Now you’ve gone and done it. Look what you have gotten yourselves into America?

    And, now, how in the world are you going to get yourselves out??

  16. Mary Ann says:

    Oops, got the name of the newspaper wrong, sorry. I offer a million “mea culpas”.

  17. T.I.M. says:

    If the Pay for Performance Act of 2009 is really utilized, and those getting government funding who cost the taxpayers money can be charged retroactively for their screw-ups, let’s look for Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Rahm Emanuel to be helping us to reduce our massive deficits, as they most certainly qualify.

  18. Gail B says:

    Obama is not a politician. Obama is the front man for the money men who put him there. Obama is a motivational speaker who knows how to make a sale–of himself. Obama is also a bold-faced liar.

    Obama thought that he could get his liberal minions to pass blindfolded anything he or Pelosi threw at them with urgency. He was mistaken. A huge mistake was the stimulus that absolutely, positively had to be passed by a certain date–all 1,000+ pages of it, only to sit idly over the holiday weekend for his signature in Colorado on the following Tuesday. (Why could the Congress not have been given the weekend to read it and vote on Tuesday?) Americans wondered about that one and never received an answer. Members of Congress were given a hard time, and rightfully so, for not having read the bill before they voted on it. (Well, things were stuck into it that the administration didn’t want them to know were there!)

    Obama might be able to charm the mainstream media, but the Internet is quickly bringing him and his tax cheats down. Sebelius now has tax problems, in addition to many in Obama’s cabinet, it seems.

    I, too, listened to HIS WORDS when he was campaigning, and I’ve said before that he sounds like a motivational speaker or a cheerleader at a high school football game. He knows how to stir up emotion, how to guide it, how to make the listener relax in the comfort zone, and sink the hook. That’s the reason he goes back “on the campaign trail” when he wants legislation passed. His voice grates on my last nerve, and his policies are even more abrasive.

    Thanks for letting me vent my frustration!

  19. goddessdivine says:

    Brilliant post.

    I for one am not the least bit surprised by Obama’s leftist agenda. He was totally transparent, and I wonder how so many people could be so fooled. This man is a disaster.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Like Jeff, I’m a student, and my final project is due tomorrow, and I can’t make the software do what I want. I needed a distraction, if only for a moment, and I am treated with your “overreaching” article. Thank you!

    I had to stop reading long enough to say, I agree with your question, Why would conservatives vote for Obama?

    I contend that they didn’t, and the votes need to be scrutinized, but who will do that?

  21. Gail B says:

    Jeff, I just reread some of Samuel Fain’s work. Will go back and finish because he has a lot to offer, and my brain needed a refresher course.

    Gosh, you have a great Cabinet of political talent! Uh, a great “stable of writers.”

  22. tanarg says:

    Some people just aren’t old enough to have had experience with a real con-man. For all his foibles and deficits, Clinton was not an America-hater. We haven’t had an Elmer Gantry presidential candidate before.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Frankly, I don’t think that we’ve seen anything yet regarding the Obama administration’s “drift” towards socialism. The only thing that will block him from total subjucation of the citizens of the U.S. will be a major upheaval resulting from the 2010 elections.

    If his attempt to “buy” a permanent voting majority succeeds in that election cycle, he will pull out all of the stops. What he’ll be doing in the meantime is getting as much done as he can to implement his policies, including bankrupting the country, without causing a serious rebellion. If he can do that and maintain a majority in both houses of Congress in 2010, nothing can stop him.

    By the way, I’m about halfway through Mark Levin’s new book, “Liberty and Tyranny” and it’s terrific. Apparently it’s opening in the number one spot on several best-seller lists this week. I plan to buy copies for everyone in the family – and maybe for a few cheap friends as well.

    Old Bob

    P.S. Never trust someone who grins, no matter how serious the topic or setting, like he knows something that you don’t – and you’re not going to like it when you find out what it is. It made me nervous from the very beginning, and now I know why.

  24. tm says:

    The Greatest con of all time. It did not matter that any conservatives went for him, they fell for his “snake oil” charm. He had Soros to fund all of the deceit. He had records sealed.
    Acorn did the rest with the likes of votes from dead people and mickey mouse.

  25. Anonymous says:

    How could anyone be surprised by his agenda and policies? It STILL mystifies me!

    He not only has a socialist or fascist agenda, he has a GLOBAL agenda. I wonder how many people have learned much about the globalist agenda and what that would do to America.

    EVERYONE NEEDS TO CALL their representatives and tell them to support H.J. Resolution 41 authored by Michelle Bachman which would prevent the administration from agreeing to replace the dollar with a GLOBAL reserve currency.

    THIS IS SERIOUS, PEOPLE!!! This is so disturbing and would have disastrous results for our dollar and our country!

  26. CARTMAN says:

    I told you to vote for Pedro !

    verification word: eldhipe
    Kenyan for “gotcha”

  27. Robert Wallace says:

    @ what’s_up:

    “Since every poll that I have seen still shows that the majority of Americans approve of Obama the point of this story is what exactly?”

    When you’re graphing something that changes in time (like a poll) it’s silly to take the time element out and just look at a snap shot. That’s what you’re doing. You’re saying “gee, he still polls around 60%. obviously people like him”

    First of all, his polling is way higher than his votes. Which means a lot of people who *didn’t* vote for him are being optimistic. It’s silly to count them as Obama supporters. They are just looking for a silver lining. This happens every time a president is inaugurated, which is why the average poll rating at this point is about 60% – much higher than the margins of victory.

    Secondly, there’s the question of a trend. Trends put the time-element back into the picture. 60% doesn’t sound bad, but “his polls fell by 20 points” sure does. The *direction* of his popularity is incontrovertibly downward. This is substantiated by the drastic uptick in his negative ratings, and by the fact that his *policies* don’t poll anywhere near he does. Obama? 60% Obama’s budget? 36%

    People don’t have to dislike Obama personally. They have to dislike his politics. And right now the overwhelming majority of Americans do, and that is beginning to significantly drag down his own polls.

    I can bring you to the water. It’s up to you to drink it.

  28. Robert Wallace says:

    @ the first anonymous:

    “Like many Americans, I decided to make the most of the election results.”

    :shrug: I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with hoping for the best as long as you’re willing to be realistic. On the night of the election – before Obama had been inaugurated – I tried to be optimistic for the country. I hoped his moderate rhetoric would be predictor of his presidency. Not his liberal record.

    I’m optimistic, but I’m not a fool. He’s had abundant time since then to demonstrate that it’s the liberal Obama we elected, not the moderate Obama.

    More and more Americans are waking up to this reality. Let’s welcome them to the opposition with open arms, not berate them with “I told you so’s”.

    Even if we did.

  29. Robert Wallace says:

    @ A REAL AMERICAN -

    Positively brilliant comment. Thanks so much for posting that. I hadn’t even heard the news, and that’s just not right.

  30. Anonymous says:

    National TEA Party Day is Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Find one near you. . .

    http://www.teapartyday.com/

  31. MILKY TIME says:

    whats_up,

    I wouldn’t relish in the ignorance of your people. Government teat suckers all of em.

    verification word: inglita
    Kenyan for ‘breast feed’

  32. AMAZING GRACE says:

    This country is screwed. It was fun tho while it lasted. I want to personally apologize to our founding fathers that this has happened on my watch. If being a lone gunman wasn’t so pathetic I would gladly go that route for my country. E PLURIBUS UNUM !

  33. Anonymous says:

    If the country was financially healthy, the Democrats would never have considered Obama for POTUS.

    The reality is that ever since China entered into the global market, the manufacturing industry in the UK and the USA, along with their governments, have had to rely on financial wizardry to stay afloat. Today, the wizards have sent their beggar boys to the G-20. The beggar boys will ask for greater stimulus but their wizard’s agenda is to get the central banks and economies under the European controlled IMF. This is why Obama was backed, his lack of attachment to America is just what the cabal ordered.

    Trade imbalances cause recessions. Trade with China, which pays its workers in pennies a day compared to our workers who make hundreds of dollars a day, was an ill conceived plan which was forced upon America under Clinton.

    The Clinton years planted the bombs for the meltdown. There is no way that every investment banker and government regulator in the US and UK, did not know about the failure of Long Term Capital Management, which failed under the directorship of two Nobel prize winning economists who engineered the high risk derivatives meltdown. There is no way they didn’t know that the government, under Clinton, bailed out Long Term Capital, which was deemed “too big to fail.” There is no way they didn’t know about Nick Leeson, the British derivatives trader who bankrupted London’s Barings Bank, also during the Clinton years.

    There is no way the investment bankers and government regulators did not know how the party would end. Their indifference speaks volumes.

    From a political standpoint, prior to Clinton, the need to protect America’s manufacturing base had always been a vital national concern and that concern influenced the political course for the U.S. That is, until the Republicans, of whom Mitt Romney is one of the worst offenders, turned their backs on the preservation of the U.S. manufacturing base. When that disastrous decision was made, this country lost its political bearings and started down the path to hell.

    Consider, in 1970, manufacturing represented 23.8% of the GDP and the financial industry represented 14% of GDP. By 2005, the manufacturing industry represented 12% of GDP and the financial industry represented 20.4% of GDP. 2008 figures, when they are available, will show a further increase to the financial industry’s percentage of GDP and a further decrease to manufacturing’s percentage of GDP.

    Clinton’s trade policy with China led to an irrational over-reliance on the high risk financial sector and to an irrational under-reliance on the manufacturing sector. In addition, an irrational hatred of smokestacks also contributed to the country’s political breakdown.

    To save the banking cabal, which a true American president and congress would force into bankruptcy, the financial cabal will try to cover their tracks by sacrificing the country, the economy and the dollar.

    And Obama is just the thing to destroy something precious or valuable when the going gets tough – you name it, from the life of a child to the lifeblood of a country, Obama will do any dirty job.

  34. suek says:

    T TAXED

    E ENOUGH

    A ALREADY

    I like it!

  35. Anonymous says:

    “Since every poll that I have seen still shows that the majority of Americans approve of Obama the point of this story is what exactly? I love the line about how he has lost touch with everyday Americans, I would argue that it is the Repubs who have lost touch, look at their alternative budget that they announced today for the 2nd time.”

    Get off the damn cool-aide!!!!!!!!!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Please everyone who is keeping up with Barky’s eligibility issue, go and read this blog:
    http://paralegalnm.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/barack-hussein-obama-a-natural-born-subject-of-great-britain/

    While you may not agree with all this person says, he still has some excellent ideas and information. I like his idea about 5 Republican congressmen and the ad hoc caucus.

  37. Cole says:

    Excellent piece, Bob–if I may call you Bob–but I do have one thing to add: last time I checked, the population of the United States had reached about 306,000,000 people. According to Wikipedia, the total number of votes cast in the 2008 election was 129,391,711. That leaves ~176,608,289 as people who either didn’t or couldn’t vote. That means that a little over a third of the nation voted. Obama won 53% of that; the amount of people who voted for him is less than a quarter of the country’s population (about 76,500,000). A quarter of the country spoke for the whole. Go figure.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the “significant and damaging backlash” you refer to. I see that already sprouting with the Tea Parties. In what way do you see that happening?

  39. Robert Wallace says:

    Cole – I left out the math I used to get my numbers because I thought it was boring to read. There were definitely some assumptions in there that might have been a bit of a stretch, but I think the gist of it (people believed Obama was a moderate) is true.

    Anonymous – I’m thinking mostly of the tea parties as well, but more broadly just a public backlash against reckless spending. Public support for his budget is anemic, and opposition to a hypothetical new stimulus bill is strong. I think you’re also seeing it start to come out in the press. Now that Obama is not The Best Story Ever they really aren’t as vested in him as they used to be.

  40. Anonymous says:

    To Anonymous, 4/2 @ 11:13 AM:

    I understand how you feel about the loss of the manufacturing segment – it was the stepping stone for many of us to achieve fairly high levels in major corporations, and I grieve for the loss of it as much as anyone else, but you need to understand that the issue of the migration to off-shore manufacturing has always been in the hands of the public, not the government.

    The major contributors to the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. were the buyer’s logical choice of equal or higher quality products at consistently lower prices and the unionized workforce in our major industries that wouldn’t bend to the realities of the world economy. It’s the simple law of nature; if you don’t adapt, you become extinct.

    You know the story about the monkey that reached into the jar to grab a cookie and then, with the cookie clenched in it’s fist, couldn’t get it out of the jar but wouldn’t let go. That’s what we, as a country, have done, but rather than a cookie, it was (and still is) a higer standard of living than almost all of the rest of the world. And that’s where the politicians come in; they “print” money that we don’t have and pour it into the “economy” to fool us into thinking that our standard of living is sustainable, when it clearly is not.

    The only option that the government has ever had in this issue was to impose trade barriers in order to create a “closed” U.S.economic system, and that has never worked. Ask those who have studied the era (read “Smoot-Hawley Act”) preceding the Great Depression. Of course, Roosevelt’s response to that depression was as counter-productive to an economic recovery in the ’30′s as Obama’s intrusions into the free-market process will be to the present deep recession.

    Old Bob

  41. Anonymous says:

    Robert, a brilliant and perceptive article – thank you. Now that the G20 meetings are over, I dread to think about what new ‘news’ will now be released. Here is one of what may be a long list of O’s changes:

    http://usapatriots-shout.blogspot. com/2009/04/obama-begins-turnover-of-usa.html

    When will this nightmare end?

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